So after 4 days in DC, 2 days in Philly, and one whole day on a plane, we have arrived in Kumanovo, Macedonia. We were greeted with giant smiles and open arms, as well as a crew of volunteers and a giant open-ended semi truck to put our endless luggage in... not to mention a sharp feeling of surrealism. At the hotel we were greeted by even more volunteers with giant smiles waving and smiling and eager to help us get our 293847 pounds of luggage up the stairs to our hotel rooms. We were then given a giant buffet lunch of various treats… cheese pie, zucchini, eggplant, soya, chili (which is actually a salsa-like concoction with a deliciously spicy kick), local grapes with seeds, cucumber and tomato salads, and chilled red wine in tall glasses. Jet lag is kicking all of our asses, and after that lunch I’m having much trouble keeping my eyes open… dinner is only 4 hours after lunch today. After that its shower/Ambien/bed time!
The super-packed training agenda begins tomorrow and will continue all week with language, medical, and culture training as well as a trip to the US Embassy and a couple other field trips. On Friday we check out of the hotel and head home with our host families, and will have unknown levels of communication. Throughout lunch, I was told about the joys and amazingness of Macedonian produce. The fruit! The vegetables! The gardens! Oh yes.
My Mak15 team is fabulous, and comes from all over the US. There is a nice sense of camaraderie and support already, which is very comforting. Off to nap until dinner for now, but more soon!